Abstinent Today:

I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †

Well, today I got up before the chickens and drove out of town to an all-day training seminar, the main speaker of which was me. I wrestled with this for weeks, but in the end got my speech written just hours before it was due. Other than a time-management squeeze, it went off just fine, and I was invited to speak at three similar agencies, one of which might be a regular occurrence and another of which is for a Statewide conference of the same local organization I taught today. This was the largest audience to which I have spoken, and the next ones promise to be larger. It is amazing what God will do when I demonstrate a willingness to capitalize opportunities.

Just yesterday, I told two different people that I would like to go to school full-time when I retire in eleven months, but said that would require God to do an amazing financial miracle in the meantime. That was less than twenty-four hours before three training directors would approach me about teaching their personnel stress-management techniques, suicide prevention, and coping with trauma.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“If abstinence is not first, I will lose it. Everything that interferes with it must go.” — Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 171

I hated this statement when I first heard it, because I felt it was in competition with God. I have learned, however, that this concept prioritizes my clear connection with God. What comes between me and God but my selfish indulgences? Abstinence is the denial of self that Jesus calls for in the Bible! “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23)

From Proverbs 24:

11 Rescue those being led away to death;

hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

This is the calling to those who have life: to share it with those who do not. This is what I attempt to do regarding the Gospel of Christ, regarding the hope of recovery, and regarding those struggling with pain, despair, and heartache.

The Only One by Chris Tomlin

I have done all I can today.  I’m going to bed!  Good night, all.


*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

† For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.